Suspects in the sensational BlackBerry murder case have revealed the series of events that led to the murder of Cynthaia Osokogu, daughter of retired Major General Frank Osokogu, who was discovered dead a month after she was reported missing.
Nwabuzo Okumo, the alleged murderer, alongside his cousin and accomplice Odera Ezekiel, say the murder was a mistake, not part of the plan. The plan had been to rob her, they say and perhaps for Okumo a serial attacker by his own admission, the plan had been to do more.
Okumo, a third year Accounting student at the University of Lagos said he met the deceased via a BlackBerry Messenger group and had established an online relationship with her before inviting her to Lagos.
He said the deceased told him she would be visiting the commercial city of Lagos on a buying trip for her boutique and he invited her to visit with him at the Casmillo Hotel in Amuwo Odofin.
It was there that a tragic series of incidents led to the murder of Cynthia Osokugo.
“She arrived in Lagos from Abuja on Sunday, July 21 and I took her to the hotel. I gave her a pack of Ribena juice, which had been injected with a drug I use on women that makes them dizzy, weak and wipes their memory afterwards,” Okumo said.
He confessed to having drugged four girls in the past, but his plan hit a snag with Cynthia.
“I noticed that she did not drink all the juice and so the drug was not as effective as expected,” he confessed.
Okumo admitted to staying in the room with Cynthia for 12 hours and engaging in forced sexual activities with her, using a vibrator (a sex toy) on her.
“I had no choice than to engage her in a struggle. I had to tie her so that she would not be able to follow me after robbing her.”
His accomplice, Ezekiel, a fourth year Accounting student at Anambara state university, comes into the picture when Okumo began struggling with her captor. The accomplice confessed that he had been called by Okumo to help him restrain the victim. Ezekiel confesses to having provided Okumo with two packs of Ribena juice injected with 10 tablets of Rohypnol, a date rape drug. His job was to come in, restrain the victim and rob her, nothing more, but Cynthia’s case soon proved different.
“I didn’t know the victim. The morning it happened, he (Okumo), said I should come and help him bind the girl because he wanted to steal her belongings. In the process of binding her, she was struggling so we had to beat her up and it was in the process that she passed out. We used our hands in beating her; we did not use any weapon.
“She was still breathing as at the time I left the hotel,” Ezekiel said.
Police Commissioner in Lagos state, Umar Manko, said it wasn’t clear if this was their first murder. He said the body was discovered after a unanimous call to the hotel reception.
“The young lady was found dead and chained in a room in the hotel. Someone called the hotel reception and said, ‘Go and get the dead body of a bastard from your room’. When the lady was found, her identity could not be ascertained,” he said.
“From the telephone number used in calling the hotel, we started our investigations until we got her passport number through the Immigration Service and were able to establish her identity.
“Through CCTV footage, we discovered that two young men entered into her room. We were able to trace the suspects through the phone number that called the hotel.”
Police had first arrested Ezekiel’s girlfriend who led them to Ezekiel who at the time was hiding away in Anambara state. The accomplice, in turn, led them to Okumo who was in Festac at the time.